Elder Eugene Cordell Vail
Helsinki, Finland Mission - 1963-1965

Elder Eugene Cordell Vail - LDS Missionary - Finland 1963 to 1965
Well everyone has to have a missionary plaque

President Applaud's call in Church News

President Malcolm Asplund his wife Pat and their Children in 1964


Back in those days, every one wore these hats.....

This is Elder Bruce Mattis Elder Cordell Vail on the left and I don't remember who the others are.
We were serving in Helsinki at the time

Baptisms were far apart and few between but this is me on the right. So I guess we did not come home empty handed.

For some reason I did not even write down the names of these three teenagers we baptized.

But this is a picture of a little 8 year old boy named Hannu that I baptized and have come to love him and his family as my own brother now over the years.

I even learned the language well enough to teach classes on Sunday(amazing). Well at least the kids pretended they understood me.

Elder Vail Breaking Finnish High Jumping record at 6 foot 3 for 19 year old age group (and as you can see lots of room to spare) The world record at that time was 7 foot 2 so that is 11 inches from the world record. That is about where my belly is at. The next Olympics is where Fosbie did his back word flip and broke the record at 7 foot 3.... Too bad I didn't turn over in this picture, It would have been close to the world record. Oh well... hind site is 20 15..

Elder Vail on Arti Circle at 40 below

Just thinking about going into the Lathi Avonto (ice hole) created by the Polar Bear Club of Finland.

Zone Leader and District Leader Approval (well if the Zone leader (in black trunks) is going in too that is approval isn't it?
Actually it is 5 cowards and 3 brave Elders out to prove that "MANY ARE COLD BUT FEW ARE FROZEN"

OK That is it... in the Zone Leader goes

Oh no the District Leader Elder Plue is taking Elder Vail's Picture for incriminating evidence

If you think this picture is fake look at Elder Vail's toes on the ice
And we actually did have the Mission President's approval. Most chickend out how ever as you can see.

So we had to protect ourselves... so we caught the mission president in a boat to ha ha ha ha....

This is Elder Mendenhall trying to help our land lady in Tampera fix her Spinning Wheel (as if we knew anything about them)
Wish I had written her name down. She was 93 years old. She lived in a two room apartment. She rented
us her front room and she slept in the kitchen. Wonderful Lutherin Missionary she was....

Vice President Lindon B. Johnson came to Helsinki, I just held my camera up and took his picture over the crowd.
I did not know until later when a member told me that I had a picture of him shaking hands with Pavo Nurimi.
He is the most famous athlete in Finland. They called him the "FLYING FINN".
He won 5 gold metals. Lots of statues of him in parks around Finland.
And here he was still alive. WOW!!!!

While I was in Finland in 1963-65 they had this wonderful tradition.
If you moved into a new house they gave you a little stick with bread
rolls on it and a bag of salt. The sign says,


The little blue bag has salt in it. It is hard to tell in this picture
how big it is. The bread is Finnish Black Bread and the rolls of bread are about as
big as the palm of your hand or as big around as a small doughnut but much thinner.
The stick is about the size of a normal lead pencil but a little longer.
That should help you see how big it is. I still have that bread hanging
on my wall in our home (It is now 2007). Isn't that amazing that Black Bread
could just dry up and go hard and then keep all these years.

Back to FINLAND home page
Back to Cordell Vail home page